By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Watersheds greatly help in species conservation and could serve as a guide in making efficient development plans aside from providing water resources used for domestic, agricultural, and industrial purposes.
Researchers from the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Ecosystems Research and Development Service (DENR-ERDS) Region III collaborated and developed an Ecological Information System (EIS), to assess the status of watersheds in Central Luzon.
The EIS was developed to collect and store information on the key environmental variables and other hydrological processes of watersheds in Central Luzon, which include Carranglan River watershed in Nueva Ecija; Baler River watershed in Baler, Aurora; Dibut River watershed in San Luis, Aurora; and Abucay/Samal sub-watershed in Bataan.
Maps were used to visualize the data gathered by the team. These data were generated using a geographical information system (GIS) and are linked to the EIS database. Among those included in the EIS are flood hazard maps, soil erosion intensity maps, vulnerability to forest/grass fire map, development projects, and current biodiversity condition of the areas involved in the program.
The community surrounding the watersheds will benefit from the system as experts can now make wiser decisions using the data generated from the project sites. Local government units (LGUs) will also be able to rely on these information in terms of policy formulation.
The system was developed under the program, Community-based Watershed Monitoring System for Biodiversity Conservation. The said program is under the Integrated Research and Development Program on Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation of Selected Forest Ecosystems in Central Luzon and is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).
This was one of the technologies that was featured by DOST-PCAARRD during the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) held on July 17-21, 2019 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. (PPCI)